Friday, March 2, 2012

Eggs Baked in Hash Brown Cups

We eat a lot of "breakfast for dinner" around here, especially on nights when not everyone is home, so I'm always on the lookout for good main-dish egg recipes. Kit and I had dinner-for-two recently, and these baked eggs were definitely a step up from our more-mundane scrambled eggs and toast. They did have this slightly disconcerting quality, in that they seemed to stare up at us from the plate ...

but that problem was easily resolved with a knife.

Besides making for a light supper, these baked eggs would be ideal for a cozy Sunday brunch, and they would not be out of place on an Easter or Passover table. Or on a Halloween table, for that matter (it's the eyeball thing).

If you are not crazy about the fried-egg look, you could fill the hash brown cups with beaten eggs to make a scrambled or quiche-like center, though I did not test the recipe that way.

Eggs Baked in Hash Brown Cups
(Adapted from Everyday Food and various Internet recipes. Suitable for Passover and gluten-free cooking, but always check your food labels. Serves 2 to 3; should double easily.)

2 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and sauteing
About 2.5 cups frozen, unseasoned hash browns, thawed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onion
3 Tbsp grated cheddar cheese
3 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Lightly grease 3 ramekins (about 6-ounce capacity) or jumbo muffin cups.

Mix the thawed hash browns with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. Press the hash browns firmly and evenly against the bottom and sides of each cup. Bake 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

Meanwhile, saute the red bell pepper (using a little olive oil or cooking spray, if necessary) until slightly softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the green onion and cook 1 minute more. Remove vegetables from heat.

Divide the vegetable mixture among the cooked hash brown cups and top each cup with about 1 tablespoon of cheese. Bake 2 minutes. Remove from oven.

Carefully crack an egg into each cup. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are done to your liking. Remove hash brown cups from ramekins and serve at once.

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